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Starting Point

News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.

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Us 46, Florida 25, Romney 21, Washington 16, Virginia 16, Pennsylvania 16, Ohio 16, Obama 12, Colorado 12, Wisconsin 12, Cnn 12, John 11, Iowa 11, Nevada 10, Mitt Romney 9, Soledad 8, John Mccain 8, New Hampshire 8, Benghazi 8, Christine Romans 7,
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  CNN    Starting Point    News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien  
   looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.  

    November 5, 2012
    4:00 - 6:00am PST  

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will count. the electoral college. the race to 270. eight states are still up for grabs. they're yellow here with hours to go. we're going to look at the road each candidate's got to take to get that magic number. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. one week since hurricane sandy and many victims saying they will get to the polls, come hell or high water. or in this case, both. but where will their polling places be? the scramble on the east coast ahead. >> this morning stephanie cutter from the obama campaign is going to be joining us, pennsylvania senator pat toomey is our guest, maryland congressman chris van hollen will be with us. arizona senator john mccain, the former white house press secretary bill burton and former treasury secretary larry summers all joining us this morning. and former mccain campaign adviser mark mckinney is with us. it's monday, november 5th, and a special edition of "starting point" live from the nation's capital begins right now.
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welcome, everybody. in 24 hours the campaign promises and those commercials finally stop and the american people will pick a president. this morning, a brand-new cnn/orc poll of likely voters have mitt romney and president obama in a dead heat, 49% apiece. both candidates are canvassing the critical swing states on this final full day on the campaign trail. the president will hold rallies in madison, wisconsin, columbus, ohio, des moines, iowa. governor romney is in florida and lynchburg and fairfax virginia, columbus ohio and in manchester, new hampshire. and it wouldn't be a presidential election without some kind of legal fight in the state of florida. the state's democratic party is suing to extend early voting hours with people reporting lines of up to seven hours at some south florida early polling stations. cnn has this place covered like no other network. we've got dan lothian in madison, wisconsin. jim acosta is in orlando, florida, martin savidge is in cleveland, ohio. miguel marquez is in las vegas, nevada. ed lavandera is in denver,
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colorado, for us this morning. john zarrella comes to us live from plantation, florida. we want to begin with complete comprehensive coverage with john berman checking in to see how our correspondents are faring. >> thanks, soledad. the candidates are all over the place today. president obama and mitt romney hold atriallies in seven states today. a final frenetic day of campaigning across the battleground. for the president, he begins in wisconsin, a state that has voted true blue since 1984 but it is almost always close. and with paul ryan a native wisconsin son on the republican ticket, the obama team is taking no chances. they've called in the cavalry to help, including the boss, bruce springsteen to seal the deal. dan lothian is live in madison, wisconsin. good morning, dan. >> good morning, and you're right, bruce springsteen will be warming up the crowd here with a 30-minute concert before the president comes out. the campaign has been using these big names not only to draw in big audiences, but also to energize them. i can tell you, after speaking with a campaign official last
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night, they are very confident about their position in these closing hours. that official told me, quote, we would rather be us than them, referring to the romney camp. the reason for this is because they believe they've been able to lay down an effective ground game in these key battleground states. they have a network of volunteers spread out across those battleground states. they've also been able to make one-on-one contact with 125 million people over the course of the campaign. the campaign also says that the president has been able to do an effective job of laying out where he wants to take the country over the next four years, and what he has been able to accomplish over the last four. >> in 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the great depression. today our businesses have created nearly 5.5 million new jobs. the american auto industry is back on top. home values are on the rise. we're less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last 20 years.
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the war in iraq is over. the war in afghanistan is ending. al qaeda is on the run. osama bin laden is dead. we've made progress these last four years. >> senior campaign officials telling me that they're not concerned about the polls. they say that they always knew it would be very close. now from here the president will head back to that important battleground state of ohio, and then wind up in iowa, where he began his journey to the white house more than four years ago. john? >> all right, thanks so much, dan lothian in madison, wisconsin. it looks a little bit chilly this morning. as for mitt romney he holds the first of five rallies today in a not so chilly san ford, florida. of all the battleground states, florida is really the biggest electoral prize and for the romney team, simply a must-win. cnn's jim acosta is live in orlando this morning. good morning, jim. >> good morning, john. that's right. all you have to do is look at the itinerary to see which states mitt romney is focusing on today in order to capture the white house. he is starting the day, as you said, here in florida.
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then he has two events in virginia. then off to the ultimate battleground state of ohio. and then he ends the night in new hampshire, and in this final stretch of the campaign, john, we've seen the romney stump speech take on a bit of a harder edge. he has been warning voters what might happen if president obama is elected to another four years in office. he has been saying that the country could go back into a recession, could face another debt crisis. but, there have been some lighter moments out on the campaign trail, romney had sort of acknowledged the pretty hectic pace of the final hours of this campaign. letting voters know last night, at an event in virginia, that he's getting tired, too. here's what he had to say. >> if you believe we can do better, if you believe america should be on a better course, if you're tired of being tired, then i -- not just tonight, but all the time, -- then i ask you to vote for real change, and paul ryan and i will bring real change to america from day one.
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>> now senior romney adviser did push back a little bit on what the president's campaign has been saying about where this race stands right now. they believe they are overperforming in states, even states like pennsylvania, where he had a campaign stop last night. he walked out to the theme of that movie, "rocky" and just a sign of how they believe they are the underdog but they're still doing well in some of these states that they had not expected to do well in. and they believe the president is underperforming and that is why this race has gotten so very close. later on tonight, john, they will be ending this campaign in new hampshire. it is where all of it began for mitt romney. it's where he launched his campaign a year and a half ago. and kid rock will be performing later on tonight. so they're bringing out the stars, as well. >> that's right. kid rock. jim acosta, thanks so much. now to a game that many political junkies have been playing all weekend. the electoral college
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calculator. i'm with christine romans and the magic wall. >> number is 270. the red states are considered states for romney. the blue considered for the president. these yellow are the swing states. the quickest pay for obama to get to 270. needs to take iowa, needs to take wisconsin, needs to take ohio, and that gets him there fast. 270. let's take these back and show you the quickest ray for romney to get to 270. he's got to take florida, he's got to take virginia. he's got to take ohio. that gets him to 266. that means he just needs maybe like the four votes in new hampshire. he could take iowa, although that one has been leaning forward the president. the quickest way for obama, iowa, wisconsin, ohio. the fastest way for romney, florida, virginia, ohio, then he just needs one more state. >> the problem for mitt romney is the quickest way includes ohio, which means polling consistently behind there. without ohio he's got to take a lot more of those yellow states right now. >> and that's why we keep talking about ohio all past week. >> christine romans, thanks very much.
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>> thanks, guys. our team, erick erickson the editor in chief of redstate.com. also a cnn contributor. ron brownstein, cnn senior political analyst roland martin is still with us. he's a cnn political analyst, as well. nice to have you guys with us this morning. certainly appreciate it. race couldn't really be much tighter right now. the latest national cnn/orc poll shows 49%, 49%. all tied up. let's get right to stephanie cutter who is deputy manager for the obama campaign. stephanie, good morning. nice to have you with us this morning. appreciate your time. >> good morning. thanks for having me. >> you bet. so christine was just walking through that electoral map, and you can see that the poll is tied. other national polls like abc and nbc and politico have one and pew has one as well really really close with the president with a slim lead there. is it fair to say that this is a complete toss-up? >> no. i would agree. i would disagree, sorry. you know, i was listening to you
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go through the map just a few minutes ago and this really is about 270 electoral votes. and what's happening in the states. and in every single battleground state, we're either tied or have a solid lead. and as you -- as you said, or somebody said, all paths go through ohio for mitt romney. and we've had a solid lead there for some time. a third of ohio voters have already voted. and we're beating mitt romney by more than two to one. we feel very good about where we are today. >> if you look at independents, though, you can't feel so great about that. a new cnn poll shows that governor romney is way ahead among independents, a 22-point lead. 22 -- not that graphic. governor romney at 59%, there we go, right there. my math isn't so good but even i can figure out the 22 points. the cnn/orc poll of romney at 59% and president obama at 37%. among independents. nbc also shows a lead for the governor, a smaller lead but still a lead. do you -- are you concerned
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about independents that many people focus on what independents will do in the final days of the election? >> well, again, those are national polls. if you look at the state polls, if you look at some of those nbc polls, for instance, in the states, we, there are several states where we're leading in independents. iowa for example. we wouldn't have that lead that we have right now without independents. so it's really a state by state picture of what's happening with the electorate. and we feel good about where we are. >> all right. how about ohio? just talking to senator rob portman and he says that ohioans are not feeling so great about the economy there. here's what he said about jobs. >> if you look at the ohio numbers on the question that pollsters love to ask, are you going in the wrong track or right direction our wrong track numbers are about like the rest of the country. last month we lost 12,800 jobs in ohio. we're glad our unemployment numbers are about a point below the national average but we don't think it's good enough. >> so he would say people in
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ohio are still hurting. it doesn't feel very good. and also if you look at the cnn ohio poll, obama 50%, mitt romney, 47%. and that's well within the sampling error. >> mm-hmm. absolutely. and, look, i understand that senator portman feels like he needs to deliver ohio for his candidate mitt romney. and he's under tremendous pressure right now. but the fact is, that the ohio economy has been recovering at a faster rate than many other states because of the actions the president has taken on the auto industry. and you know what the debate has been over the past couple weeks with the false ad that mitt romney has been running. if they felt good about where they were in ohio they wouldn't be running those ads. as the president said on the stump last night, we've created about 5.5 million private sector jobs. as a result of the steps that he's taken to save the recovery from falling into a depression, and starting this recovery. so, across ohio, whether it's manufacturing jobs, the first manufacturing jobs coming back to that state, and almost a
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decade, you know, auto jobs, second, third shifts being added to auto plants all over that state. we feel good about what's happened with the economy in ohio. but i will also say, we agree with senator portman. we're not where we need to be. which is why the president has laid out a second term agenda to continue job creation, to continue investments in the middle class. >> stephanie cutter, as you have said many times, and so now i'll agree with you, the only poll that matters is going to be the poll tomorrow night. thanks for being with us, appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >> zoraida sambolin has a look at some of the other stories. cleanup is under way from superstorm sandy. bulldozers are clearing piles of debris along the devastated new jersey shore. the storm is now blamed for 110 deaths in the united states alone. more than 1.5 million power customers in 15 states are still in the dark this morning. and to make matters worse, a nor'easter is in the forecast this week. it could bring heavy winds, rain, and flooding to areas that are already hard-hit by sandy.
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and today a 48-year-old former vatican computer expert will go on trial for his alleged role in a scandal involving stolen papal documents. pope benedict's top bodyguard and the pontiff's former butler are expected to take the stand. the former butler is now serving an 18-month prison sentence, after being convicted last month of leaking the pope's private letters to an italian journalist. and in the closing hours of the presidential campaign, the keents are making their closing arguments to voters. and you just knew "saturday night live" would get into the action as well, harpooning mitt romney for his remarks about federal funding for fema. >> that was a comment i made during a republican primary debate. okay? that's like judging a person's behavior while they're pledging a fraternity. okay? okay, look, now you can't hold a man, or a woman, to what he, to what he, or she, said that a
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republican primary debate. okay. i want to make it clear that when i said we should get rid of fema, well, it was sunny. >> that's pretty funny this whole election season. one of the highlights, i would say. >> you wonder what will they do after the election? >> exactly. >> but chris christie thing is hilarious. by cnn's calculations, it leans obama right now. but both campaigns are fighting over the state of pennsylvania. up next, we're going to talk with pennsylvania senator pat toomey after a weekend spent campaigning with mitt romney and paul ryan. ally bank. why they have a raise your rate cd. tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years? no. if he can't, no one can.
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lean obama but both campaigns are fighting for the key stone state. today president obama is deploying bill clinton there, for four campaign stops. just one day after mitt romney took the state in pennsylvania, the theme from "rocky." pat toomey is a republican senator from pennsylvania. he campaigned with both romney and paul ryan this weekend. he joins us this morning. nice to see you, sir. thanks for talking with us. >> good morning, thanks for having me. >> appreciate that. we've heard sort of mixed messages on the state of pennsylvania. so lay it out for me. listen to republicans, they say pennsylvania is definitely in play. if you talk to the democrats, david plouffe said it's a sign of desperation to talk about pennsylvania. let me play for you what he said and then we'll answer that on the other side. >> we have a great organization in pennsylvania. much better than governor romney's. we've been working it for two years. so we've got a great organization, great volunteers. listen this is a desperate ploy at the end of the campaign. to win pennsylvania, governor romney would have to win two-thirds of the independents. he's not going to do that anywhere, much less pennsylvania. >> is it a desperate ploy?
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is two-thirds of the independents that you're never going to get? >> no, not at all. actually, if you take a look at what happened the last time pennsylvanians went to the polls, which is 2010. republicans swept. i won a statewide office. we elected a republican governor. the u.s. congressional delegation and the state house assembly. so the fact is republicans control the government at all levels by big numbers. and i think that this election is going to be much more like 2010 than 2008. i think governor romney's going to carry pennsylvania. >> ron brownstein you agree with that? >> the big question is as you come down to the very end, where republicans are viewing this, is this electorate going to be like the electorate in 2010. racial distribution, partisan distribution, in it's ideological distribution? 2010 was more white, more republican and more conservative. southwest pennsylvania is going to be very tough for president obama. the white working-class voters there are going to move sharply
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away from him. but what pat toomey did in 2010 was cut the margin in the poor suburban counties outside of philadelphia to only 20,000 vote deficit. in 2008 barack obama won those same counties by 200,000 votes. the question is whether the social issues that are partient in for romney with white collar, white voters, particularly women are going to be a barrier for him. >> so back to senator toomey, if you look at the "wall street journal" nbc poll one percent say nationally they're not sure who they'd vote for. in pennsylvania that number is 3%. how do you get that 3% with less than 24 hours? >> one of the standard, time-honored rules in politics, which i happen to think is generally true, is that the undecided voters late in a race break for the challenger. the person they know very well is the incumbent. everybody knows who president obama is. everybody has an opinion of president obama. if they're not with him now, they're not going to be with him tomorrow. you know, they've made up their mind. they don't support this guy. and so i would argue that all of
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the swing states, frankly, probably all the swing states in which president obama is consistently polling below 49%, he's going to end at around 49%. those undecided voters are coming our way. i've got to tell you the intensity and energy is absolutely electric. that rally haase night, almost 40,000 people in one of those collar counties that you were just talking about, bucks county. that was just terrific. that's the way it's been across the commonwealth. i've been campaigning all across this state. we've got the enthusiasm and the momentum and energy and it matters in a very close race. >> it certainly does. we'll get to see how it all turns out on tuesday. pat toomey with us, a senator from pennsylvania. thank you for talking with us, sir. appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >> got to take a short break. still ahead, gas prices are falling but drivers in the northeast are still struggling. trying to fill up those tanks after hurricane sandy. is relief on the way? christine romans will break it down for us. #jc@+ó'ó'l-v'u
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welcome back to special coverage live here in washington, d.c. i'm christine romans, minding your business this morning. it's all about gas prices. thousands of people here in the east are worried because they're having a tough time filling up their tanks. even as an election looms. standing in very long lines where patience is thin, new jersey really hard-hit. a couple of things they're doing there. they've set up a system linking the license plate number to the day your gas can be pumped. it's called an odd/even pool. depends on the day when you can get gas. so far it has not really eased the long lines. i'll tell you we've been getting assurances for days that we're on the verge of having all this fixed. quite frankly the long lines persist. in part because there's a psychological hurt there. people seeing there are lines, they get in them because they're
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so worried about not being able to get gas. we also have hundreds and hundreds of service stations that can't pump gas because they are still out of power. you've got some new jersey residents waiting now up to four hours in line with their gas cans to cool their generators, to fuel their chain saws. separate lines, soledad to fuel up your car. the cruel irony here, soledad, the gas prices are down 26 cents in october. gas prices still ticking slightly lower. not a shortage problem. it's an access problem and it persists. >> huge access problem. christine romans for us, thank you. appreciate that. today they're hitting seven key battleground states from florida to new hampshire. the presidential candidates making their last-minute pitches. live reports from those deciding swing states coming up next. plus reaction from maryland congressman chris von halon.
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welcome back, everybody. you're watching a special edition of "starting point." coming to you live from washington, d.c. this morning. there is one pore day of campaigning and then it's up to the american people. the polls will open in less than 24 hours and right now the race for the nation's highest office is in a dead heat. a cnn/orc poll released last night says president obama and mitt romney tied at 49% apiece. we'll be talking with maryland congressman chris van hollen about his expectations come election day. first want to get right to john burrman focusing on those crucial swing states for us this morning. >> first off we're going to start with florida. this state really critical to both campaigns but especially mitt romney. the sense is, he just can't win without it. right now the polling is mixed. some polls show romney with a small lead. other polls show the president's got a lead, and no surprise, the state of florida, we're having some voting issues there. cnn's john zarrella is live in plantation, florida, this
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morning. good morning, john. >> you're right. it is tight here as you would expect in florida. mitt romney leading the president in that cnn/orc poll by one percentage point, 50% to 49%. while mitt romney was not in florida over the weekend, he'll be here today, the president did come down to south florida to one of the key, key counties, broward county, because he knows how important that county is, heavily democratic. he spoke to about 23,000 people gathered at a local rye tool there. he spoke for about 20 minutes. you mention the problem early voting rt shofsenned this year from 14 days four years ago down to eight days. there were repeated efforts by the league of women voters, senator bill nelson, to get the republican governor rick scott, to extend the time for early voting. he did not do it. people stood in lines for up to four and five hours when early voting ended saturday. yesterday, in miami-dade county, they opened to allow people to
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file absentee ballots, but they were overwhelmed had to close the office, then open it again. so there are major problems. once again, with all of the early voting and absentee issues in south florida. >> now to battleground colorado. the polls don't open there for another 24 hours or so. but a majority of voters have already passed their ballots. like the other swing states right now, the race in colorado is just about this close, and cnn's ed lavandera is in denver, colorado right now this morning. good morning, ed. >> good morning, john. the latest cnn/orc poll has given president obama a two-point advantage here in colorado. as you mentioned, many of the voters have already voted. 1.6 million voters out of the registered 3.6 million. so far in that tally republicans have an advantage of 38,000 voters and some 500,000 independent voters came out early, as well. so that's where this race hinges
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here in this state. it's all about the economy. and you would think that president obama, after having won this state in 2008, has the organizational advantage here in this state. he's got 65 field offices across the state compared to romney's 14, and all of this is about turnout at this point. that's what the campaigns are focusing on. i'm pretty sure if you called the campaign and told them you wanted a piggyback ride to the polls, you would get a piggyback ride to the polls. >> and a twinkie no doubt. they'd give you anything to get there. thank you, ed lavandera. perhaps the biggest prize in this whole race right now, ohio. the final cnn/orc poll shows the president with a three-point lead in the state that many people believe will deliver the next president. cnn's martin savidge is in cleveland for us this morning. martin, do they know we're all watching them in ohio? >> early voting is really going to be key as has been talked about by other correspondents. the polling has been going on
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since october 2nd here, john. early voters that cnn's talked to, 63% say they've cost their ballots or will for the president. 35% for mitt romney. same polling done for people who plan to vote on election day, 55% say they'll cast their ballots for governor mitt romney. 42% for president obama. yesterday was covering the vice president in freemont, ohio. i asked the obama people why freemont, to which they answered, hey it's the only place we haven't been. a bit of a joke there. but not too far from the truth. both candidates have been all over this state, and you know what? they're back here again today. john? >> they sure have. all right, ohio, colorado, florida. all on the battleground states. soledad? >> all right, john. let's talk strategy with maryland democratic congressman chris van hollen. he's a surrogate for the obama campaign. played congressman paul ryan in the debate preps with vice president biden. >> great to be with you. >> strategy, lay it out for us in the next 24 hours. >> this is get out the vote time which is why the president is
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all over the battleground states urging people to get to the polls. trying to persuade that last little sliver of undecided voters that they be out there. mostly it's energizing voters. >> is it a turnout game? because if that's the case these poll numbers must be a little depressing. if you look at a cnn/orc poll of registered voters only who asked are you extremely or very enthusiastic about voting 70% of republicans say they, though a third are not. 70% of democrats say they are enthusiastic. so a third are not. politico quoted an obama campaign worker in ohio who said it's hard to quantify but there's significantly less enthusiasm. i think there's sort of a grim determination on the part of some people, more than enthusiasm. and it shows up in our volunteers. we don't have the number of young people volunteering like we did last time. people start talking about grim, grim determination, i mean, that's -- >> look, you can see the president's rallies down in florida, he had a big crowd down in florida. he's getting lots of
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enthusiastic support. i know in my own state of maryland we have a long lines of people who are at the polls, waiting to vote. so, there's no doubt the president's going to get out of the vote and again, persuade those last-minute voters. the fact that you have the romney campaign running these ads and the auto industry so deceptive that the folks at gm and chrysler had to call them on it, it's a sign of their desperation. >> in 2010 you lived through this. democrats lost 63 seats in the house, the most for either party since 1938 because there was a surge of older, conservative voters all across the country for the republican party. how concerned are you that the models the pollsters are using is not going to predict the actual electorate that we're going to see tomorrow on election day? >> well i think you're already seeing, ron, big additional turnouts. the turnout is bigger and the mix of voters is very different than 2010. and you have a couple other major differences. one is the economy has shown steady improvement since 2010. we're not where we want to be but we certainly don't want to
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go back to the policies that crashed the economy to begin with. number one. number two. voters have seen exactly what the uncompromising tea party republicans in the house of representatives are all about. they don't want a candidate like mitt romney who has tied himself to that uncompromising -- >> christine romans. steady improvement or is the congressman overselling how our economy has been doing? >> healing is a way the white house puts it. it has been healing. but it's still a deep wound. and it depends on the perspective of the voters. do you notice the trend that things are getting better in your state or do you notice the overall feeling in america that you don't -- don't have job opportunities you once had. and who's going to fix it? who's going to fix it. >> roland martin? >> congressman a lot of folks early on said the president was going to have a problem dealing with white voters in these midwestern states. that seems to be his firewall. talk about that, but also the strength in terms of the western states. nevada, new mexico, even
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potentially colorado, in terms of strategy. >> well, that's exactly right. i mean you look at states like ohio, especially, michigan, where the fact that the president took what was at the time a very unpopular decision and rescuing the auto industry, has shown to be the right decision. mitt romney was simply wrong on that. he's been trying to play catch-up in ohio. i referenced those very misleading ads that he ran. it's very unusual as you know that gm and chrysler themselves have to call a candidate, in this case mitt romney, on the carpet for deceptive ads. and that's a sign of both the romney desperation and the fact that the president is doing very well in those states because of his decision to help rescue american manufacturing in the auto industry. with respect to colorado and nevada, you have the mitt romney. he was the most anti-immigrant of all the republican candidates. he's tried now to, you know, hedge his bets but people see it for what it is. and that has really helped fuel
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the president's support in places like colorado, and nevada. >> let me read a little bit of what the poll lines said in the poll we had yesterday with evangelical christians. we understand the stakes of our fundamental freedoms being on the line, like religious freedom, such as how they're being compromised in obama care. the president's vision is a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty and compromises those values, those judeo christian values, western civilization values that made us great and an exceptional nation in the first place. so i think in a nutshell he's saying the president threatens the nation's judeo-christian values. how do you respond to that? >> this, of course, is coming from the ticket that wrote off 47% of the american electorate. like to call them a bunch of moochers -- >> not literally call them a bunch of moochers. >> but effectively. when he said they didn't want to take responsibility for their lives, and they were, you know -- it's also coming from the author of the republican budget, the catholic bishops said did not meet the moral
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criteria that they had set. a very harsh budget that provided big tax breaks for the wealthiest americans. people like romney, at the expense of the entire rest of the country. that's why the catholic bishops weighed in and actually commented. again, very unusual, on the ryan budget. which mitt romney has endorsed. >> real quick, there's a story in politico this morning that the house democrats are looking at maybe going from picking up five seats to possibly losing two seats. why do you think the president doesn't have coattails for house democrats? >> let's wait and see. we don't know exactly what the outcome will be. we're working hard in all these races. we realize we have an uphill battle with respect to getting to 25. but this is an election where the country is very closely divided. that's what we're seeing across the board. the good news is while they're divided, they're still giving the president an edge. especially in the battleground states. and so, i think that's a reflection of the fact that mitt
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romney does not need convincing that his economic plan would be better than the presidents. in fact people are very nervous about going back to the economic policies that paint the economy to begin with and allow wall street to run wild. you've got mitt romney, it's interesting, a guy who is in favor of rescuing wall street. he was in favor of government action and a government role for that but when it came to rescuing main street and american manufacturing, the guy was awol. and people don't want a president who supports policies that simply benefit people like him. at the expense of everybody else. >> that will be our final word. chris van hollen thanks for joining us. got to get right to zoraida sambolin for a look at other stories making news today. >> one week ago today, superstorm sandy slammed into the east coast. it is now blamed for at least 110 deaths. that is just in the united states. and more than 1.5 million power customers are still in the dark this morning. and with falling temperatures, housing is a major issue, in all the devastated communities.
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meanwhile, hundreds of would-be new york city marathoners volunteered yesterday. take a look at this. they were helping distribute aid to victims of sandy on staten island. the marathon was canceled due to the impact of the storm. it's very generous of them. and today a military court in washington state will hear details of the case against army staff sergeant robert bales. he's accused of a drunken shooting rampage that left 16 afghanis dead. today's testimony will feature testimony via teleconference. sunday night football action. the atlanta falcons beat the dallas cowboys. at 8-0 atlanta is now the only undefeated team in the nfl. and they did it the hard way. on the strength of the four field goals from matt bryant. actor will ferrell has a new role. he says he will do anything to get voters to the polls tomorrow. >> if you agree to vote in this year's election, i will
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personally give you a tattoo. fair warning, i do not know how to draw. i'll do a dance. just for you. that was just a taste. if you want the full buffet you're going to have to vote. vote obama. it's a slam dunk. guess what -- >> he also says if you vote he will make you a homecooked meal or help you move a couch, perhaps, soledad. a lot of celebrities getting on the action here. >> the final minutes. i don't know if i can take any more of that. >> it's a funny ad. it's funny. >> that's all right. that's all right. it wasn't hysterical. it was like okay. still ahead this morning, on "starting point" one week after sandy engulfed the northeast, the cleanup process is really only just beginning. we're going to take you to a hard-hit town on new jersey's coastline coming up next. ♪
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welcome back. it is 47 minutes past the hour. workers, volunteers and residents are working really hard to try to recover in the mav gnat of superstorm sandy. in some areas roads have been cleared. drinkable water is back to much of the state, as well. and power has been restored to most of those that were left in the dark. but another storm is approaching. and it could add to all of the devastation there. jim clancy is in hard-hit belmar, new jersey. jim, you looked at this up close and personal. how are they getting ready here, perhaps, for another hit? because we hear there's a nor'easter headed our way. >> nor'easter headed our way. and you know, they know that it's coming. they're preparing for even right
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now, another night without electricity. some people don't have water. it's a pretty difficult situation for these people. and they know there's more trouble on the way. down at the end of this street they're pumping. this is ocean avenue. they're pumping out two lakes. let me -- if we can, show some video from earlier that shows you the massive lines that they're bringing through there. and gives you an idea that's going from a lake all of this area was under water. this flooded the town. they've been pumping out the water in huge amounts. tens of thousands of gallons a minute. going back into the atlantic. where it came from. and they are pumping these lakes lower because they know if this nor'easter brings in high winds and weather, that they could flood again, and they don't want the town to reflood. zoraida? >> jim, how is everybody feeling about the efforts in their area? >> here in belmar they're very happy. in other places up and down the jersey shore, not so happy. you know, not all of the city
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governments have really much experience dealing with this. they need a lot of help from the state and federal level. this is a big task. a huge task. and many of these very, very small communities simply don't have the experience, they don't have the means to handle it. back to you. >> all right. jim clancy. thank you so much for bringing us the very latest from belmar, new jersey. we appreciate it. up next six electoral votes are up for grabs, but which candidate has the upper hand in nevada? a live report next from las vegas where many have already cast their votes. dad vo: ok, time for bed, kiddo. lights out. ♪
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welcome back to our special election coverage live in washington. nevada and its six electoral votes really one of the key battlegrounds in this race. and hundreds of thousands of people there have already cast their ballots. cnn's in las vegas with more on these deciders. >> no more obama! no more obama! >> reporter: the final hours a massive ground game for both campaigns. >> something tells me you all love mitt romney! >> more than a thousand romney supporters. >> how excited are you? >> really excited. >> you ever done anything like this before? >> never in my life. >> why are you doing this? >> because i feel it's very important and i feel like i could make a difference here.
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>> reporter: fanning out across the state. you're out here for the next four days, right? all four days knocking on doors. are you ready for this? >> we're all ready. >> reporter: if the romney campaign has energy -- >> i say mitt you say romney! >> reporter: the obama campaign. >> fired up! >> reporter: has organization. >> we're going to put those back into the van. >> reporter: nationwide the obama campaign says it's reached nearly 126 million voters compared to only 50 million for the romney campaign. >> our army of volunteers are going out, knocking on doors, they're making phone calls, they're targeting the people who have not voted. >> reporter: here in nevada latinos and asians heavily courted. how confident are you right now? >> i had a great morning. it was exciting talking to the locals and understanding what their feelings are, what their concerns are. >> reporter: with record numbers of votes already cast here, the show could be mostly over before
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the sun even rises on election day. so far the numbers appear to be breaking for obama. of all early and absentee ballots 19 have been cast by other parties. republicans, 37%. and democrats, 44%. don't count those votes too early, says the romney campaign. >> mitt romney's doing exceptionally well with independent voters. the second is, mitt romney's doing a whole lot better with democrat voters than barack obama is with republican voters. >> reporter: two campaigns, two styles. their bets placed in a state unaccustomed to being a battleground. the stakes have never been higher. now, the polls in this state seem to be bearing out that obama is picking up points. two polls, "usa today" has him up by seven points and the las vegas review journal has him up by four points. and they even endorse romney. by the time the polls open tomorrow, 70%, perhaps 80% of voters across the state will have already voted.
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john? >> thanks, miguel. miguel marquez live on the vegas strip. coming thup morning, arizona senator john mccain and former deputy press secretary bill burton along with cast of others. we're back right after this. copd makes it hard to breathe, but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function.
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welcome, everybody. i'm soledad o'brien. just one day left. we're coming to you live from the nation's capital. the race for the white house is in a dead heat as the candidates are making a final push. the best political team on tv has it covered for you this morning. >> i'm john berman. it is a mad dash to the finish. president obama, mitt romney and their running mates making 14 stops in eight critical states with polls showing, believe it or not, there are still votes up for grab. live in each key battleground state. >> who will get the magic number? i'm christine romans. both candidates hustling to hit 270 electoral votes. we're going to look at the road each candidate could take to hit that number. >> i'm zoraida sambolin. it has been one week since hurricane sandy forever changed the east coast and so many lives along with it. but the recovery effort is far from over and another storm ahead could make things a whole lot worse. we have a jam packed hour coming up for you. arizona senator john mccain will join us. bill burton with priorities usa action talking with us. the former treasury secretary,
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larry summers, is with us. former mccain campaign adviser mark mackinnon will join us as well. monday, november 5th. a special edition of "starting point" from washington, d.c., point" from washington, d.c., begins right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com welcome back, everybody. one final day of campaigning in this $3 billion, 17-month battle for the white house will finally be decided by the american people. here's how things stand right thousand. a brand-new cnn/orc poll of likely voters has mitt romney and president obama tied at 49% apiece. bruce springsteen will join the president today at rallies in madison, wisconsin, in columbus, ohio and des moines, iowa. governor romney has events in sanford, florida, and lynchburg and fairfax, virginia. columbus, ohio, and manchester, new hampshire. right on cue there's a legal snafu in the state of florida. the state's democratic party is
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suing to extend early voting hours with voters reporting lines of up to seven hours long at some south florida early polling stations. john berman's been watching all that, has a closer look at what the campaigns and the candidates are doing this morning. good morning. >> thanks, soledad. this really is it. one more day for both campaigns to power up their turnout machines. they will be all over the key battleground states that could really decide this election. the president starts with a rally in wisconsin. it's a state that's been blue since 1984 when ronald reagan won it for the republicans. but it is always close and the obama team is taking nothing at all for granted. cnn's dan lothian is live in madison, wisconsin, where the president will be shortly. hey, dan. >> reporter: good morning. and he will be joined by bruce springsteen. he'll be holding a concert, a 30-minute concert to warm up the crowd before the president comes on the stage. the campaign has been leaning on these big name entertainers not only to bring in big crowds, but also to energize them. in these final hours, the
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campaign is feeling very confident. one senior campaign official telling me, quote, we would rather be us than them, referring to the romney campaign. why are they so confident in because they believe they've been able to set up an effective ground game. in addition, they believe that the president has made a clear and convincing case for where he wants to take the country over the next four years. as the president himself said in colorado last night, what he has been able to accomplish over the last four. >> in 2008 we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the great depression. and today our businesses have created nearly 5.5 million new jobs. the american auto industry is back on top. home values are on the rise. we're less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last 20 years. the war in iraq is over. the war in afghanistan is ending. al qaeda is on the run. osama bin laden is dead. we've made progress these last four years. >> reporter: a campaign official
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told me that they are not concerned about the polls because they always felt that this would be a very close race. now, from here the president heads right back to that important battleground state of ohio. and then wraps up in iowa, the state that launched the president to the white house more than four years ago. john? >> all right, dan loathe ythian madison, wisconsin. in a race this close, mitt romney begins his big push today with a rally in florida. it's the first of five stops that takes him to four key battleground states. he starts in sanford, florida and heads to lynchburg and fairfax, virginia. then columbus, ohio. he will end the day many manchester, new hampshire, with kid rock. just four electoral votes at stake. in an election this close, every electoral vote is crucial. after manchester mitt romney returns to his home in belmont,
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massachusetts. >> want to intro our team. margaret hoover, cnn political contributor and former member of the bush white house. roland martin back with us as a cnn political analyst and host of "washington watch." washington correspondent for the new yorker and cnn contributor. nice to have you all joining us. want to get right to john mccain. senator john mccain is a republican from the state of arizona. the last man to face president obama in the polls. nice to see you, sir. thanks so much for talking with us. >> thank you, soledad. >> appreciate that. 24 hours to go. you have lived through this last push. so describe for us what it's like. i mean, what are you doing realistically in the last 24 ho hour? are you just flat out exhausted? is it a sprint? describe it. >> it's adrenaline and you're going hard. you know really this is your last shot. we certainly did know that in 2008 because we were aware of the polls. but it's -- you know, it's an exciting and incredible experience. and how few people in history
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have ever had the opportunity? i'm still deeply honored and humbled by having had the experience. i have a line that i use all the time. after i lost i slept like a baby. sleep two hours, wake up and cry. sleep two hours, wake up and cry. >> that's funny. having had a couple kids i know exactly what you mean. let's talk a little bit about this new ad. this has come out in the washington tyimes. 500 retired generals and admirals are running an ad in today's edition of the washington times calling on the country to re-elect mitt romney. what kind of an impact -- that's sort of an excerpt from it there. those are the 500 names. what kind of an impact do you think this will have at this late stage? >> i think it'll have some, obviously, because these are widely respected people. and a lot of our veterans who will hear about them have served under them. but i think of greater impact is the effect of benghazi on our
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veterans. i've been traveling all over the country. veterans are angry. they're angry. they're upset. they don't trust barack obama. there's 1.6 million of them in florida, for example. i think they could have an impact on this election. i know it's all about jobs and the economy. but i have never seen veterans as upset and angry as they are over benghazi. >> how about outside of veterans? to some degree the conversation around benghazi has left the narrative. people have been talking about the storm far more than they've talked about benghazi. paul wolfowitz, deputy defense secretary under george bush, he said this really defending the president on benghazi. it would appear the national u.s. security team was doing everything they thought possible to protect the americans in bengha benghazi. congress is right to be demanding answers but i'm told reliably the senior officials would confirm the government was doing all it could. do you think benghazi is going
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to have an impact on voters, not just veterans? >> well, i think it's jobs and the economy. but i don't disagree with what he said on the timing of the thing. what about on august 15th when the security group met in benghazi and sent a message back saying, look, al qaeda is here. al qaeda -- we're in danger. we cannot resist an all-out attack. that's exactly what happened. why weren't -- the consulate had been attacked twice in april and june. the british ambassador, they attempted to kill him in benghazi. the british had closed their consulate there. all of the information leading up to this attack indicated that we were totally unprepared, including the last message of our departed and heroic ambassador saying that we needed more help and more security.
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and then, of course, afterwards, this cover-up is the worst that i've ever seen. either in competence or cover-up, there was no demonstration. there was no demonstration there. there was no hateful video. the libyans called it right away. everybody knows it. >> let me ask a question -- >> that's what people are upset about. >> let me ask a question of ryan lizza first. ryan, do you think what he is describing is going to have an impact as people go to the polls? or do they focus more on the economy or do they focus more on the social issues that matter to them or is it all of the above? >> to be honest what senator mccain said, it's going to be jobs and the economy. i've always found it curious republicans have spent so much time on benghazi when they must know that every minute spent talking about foreign policy is a minute they're not talking about what voters say they're going to be voting on which is jobs and the economy. i agree with him. it's important to get to the bottom of what happened. and congress should investigate it. the administration should appoint some independent expert to get to the bottom of it. but just purely on the politics,
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i doubt outside of the very conservative base of the republican party it's going to do a lot to move the votes in romney's direction. >> soledad, i've interviewed a number of veterans. they are more outraged -- >> hold on. let me let roland finish. then i'll let you answer both of them if i may. >> i've heard veterans more outraged when the u.s. senate didn't even pass the veteran jobs bills. they say that's directly impacting us when you look at the veterans employment rate. >> you're saying less upset. let's send this back to senator mccain. go ahead, sir. you were going to jump in and answer both of them. >> i don't expect mr. martin or mr. lizza to understand our veterans. i know them. i've seen them out there. by the way, this was the sixth -- sixth jobs bill that we have. we have six jobs programs. the point is veterans do care what happens to other veterans. veterans are upset. maybe mr. lizza doesn't understand that and i wouldn't expect him to, to tell you the truth. the fact is veterans care about
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this and there's been a cover-up for seven weeks. for seven weeks we haven't been able to get an answer out of the president of the united states. mr. lizza and mr. martin, i respect their views. i don't think it's grounded in any experience. i thank you for having me on. >> hold on one second. margaret hoover, jump in, please. >> senator mccain's right. also these are key states. colorado, virginia, florida, nevada where you have large military populations. and this is one of several issues that people are considering. even if jobs and the economy is at the top, this is part of a mosaic of issues people consider. >> i'm going to stop you there. roland, don't make we walk over to you. we are out of time. senator mccain, i thank you for joining us, sir. >> thank you for having me on. >> we're out of time. i'm going to go to christine romans. she's been crunching the numbers on the electoral map trying to get to the number 270. how does it look, christine? >> let's look at the map here first. solid red here. that means it's considered safe for the republicans. solid blue, safe for the
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democrats. these yellow are the swing states. fastest way for president obama to get to that magic number would be -- it would take iowa, wisconsin, ohio. that gets him to 271. let me take these back, soledad, and show you what happens, the quickest way for mitt romney to get to that number. he would have to take florida. then he would have to take virginia. then he would have to take ohio. that puts him at 266. then he could take even something like new hampshire. four electoral votes there. colorado, that would be nine. anything after that. those are the two quickest ways to get to 270. ohio a big player in both of those. which is why, of course, they've been spending so much time in ohio, sol dedad. ahead on "starting point," you just heard the republican action to the election. we'll talk to bill burton, former member of the obama white house. that's straight ahead. we're back in just a moment. stay with us.
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welcome back, everybody. you're watching a special edition of "starting point." we're live in washington, d.c. president obama and mitt romney are both campaigning in the battleground states. on every poll it's too close to call. bill burton is former press secretary with the obama white house, co-founder and senior strategist of priorities usa action superpack. nice to see you. sorry not to have you in action this morning -- is that your phone? >> that is. so embarrassing. >> dude, seriously lseriously? this ain't your first rodeo.
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>> this is a close election, soledad. i got to be ready for any phone calls that come in. >> good try. did you expect it to be this close. >> absolutely. i think this whole race people now it was going to be this close. the good news for president obama, even though it's close he has a slight lead in almost all of the polls. the president is holding on the leads in the states he needs for 270 electoral votes. >> little teeny, weeny kind of leads. >> margaret hoover. two words i want to get your reaction for in ohio. independence and voter enthuse y yachl. are you worried about them? >> no. >> why? because you should be. >> i think the president has made a forceful case. the reason mitt romney is behind by three, four, or five points in all those polls that he never effectively made his case that he would be the kind of president that stood for the middle class. he left voters with the impression with an assist from us that he would be the kind of
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president who looked out for the wealthy few at the expense of the middle class. that's on taxes, medicare, education, all the issues that are important to those voters there in that state. also, the auto industry and its recovery has really been a problem for hit romney. the fact that he said let detroit go bankrupt is something that has haunted him throughout this campaign. >> roland? >> bill, margaret doesn't believe virginia is going to be a win for the obama campaign. romney spent so much time trashing the president when it comes to defense cuts. but he has not been able to open up any kind of substantial lead in virginia. what are you seeing in that particular state the president won in 2008? i thought it was a critical state in '08. how is it looking in terms of the message in virginia in 2012? >> in our last poll, we had the president up three points. "the washington post" has his up a little bit. most of the polls show virginia trending towards the president. that was always going to be a tough state. the problem for mitt romney there is that if he doesn't win virginia, there is almost no path at all that is going to get
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him to 270 electoral votes. it's still mathematically possible. realistically it's just not possible. i think the case that the president has made with tim kaine running to strong on the ticket there is that he would be the president for -- he'd be the candidate for the middle class. mitt romney wasn't able to effectively do that in virginia. i think that because of some of the demographic shifts, because of the growth in the suburbs there and because of the growth of the hispanic population, even though it's small there, spiked some 16% since the last election, the president is doing very well. my prediction is that he wins virginia tomorrow. >> can i read you the quote from the daily news endorsement? they've endorsed mitt romney, by the way. the daily news. that's the liberal paper in new york city. four years ago the daily news endorsed obama, seeing a historic figure whose intelligence, political skills and empathy with common folk positioned him to build on the small, practical experience he would bring to the world's toughest job. we valued obama's pledge to govern with bold pragmatism and bipartisanship. the hopes of those days went
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unfulfilled. that is a harsh condemnation, i think, of the president as they say. listen, we're going to be supporting mitt romney in this election. and news day also had a similar endorsement, a similar thing. how much of a problem is that for you? >> look, i think that the state of new york is going to go for president obama despite those endorsements. if you look at some of the swing state endorsements for some of the bigger papers like the cleveland plain dealer those went for president obama. when you talk about the big goals president obama took to office in 2008, he's delivered on a lot of them. the war in iraq is over. the war in afghanistan is winding down. he said he would pass health care and he did it. osama bin laden is dead. and i think that if the american people size up -- >> right. i've heard those all in ads. we have all heard those exact things ticked off. >> that's because they're all true. >> what they're saying, bold pragmatism and bipartisanship, pledged to govern that way. >> when president obama came to office he was sitting across the table from a republican majority leader in the senate who said
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his number one goal was to stop president obama from being elected. i think that when that's what you're dealing with -- >> you mean the minority leader, right? >> the republican leader, right. yes, he's in the minority. obviously in the senate you have to have 60 votes to get anything done. in the house you had a group of more than 80 members of the tea party caucus who would stop at nothing to stop the president. many of these people voted against things that were even their ideas that they supported just to stop the president. i think that makes it tough to see bipartisanship in washington. i think after this election, the president is going to work very hard to make sure that he's doing everything that he can to work with republicans. but if republicans aren't going to work with him, he is focused on making progress no matter what. >> bill burton joining us this morning. nice to talk to you even if your phone is going to ring in the middle of my interview. >> good to see you, soledad. >> some voters could have troubles getting to the polls because of superstorm sandy. big changes some states are making to try to help out. we'll explain coming up next.
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charlie rose: will you endorse president obama? colin powell: yes. when he took over we were in one of the... worst recessions we had seen in recent times... close to a depression. and i saw, over the next several years, stabilization... come back in the financial community. housing is starting to pick up. the president saved the auto industry. and the actions he's taken with respect to... protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid. and so, i think we ought to keep on the track that we are on. president obama: i'm barack obama and... i approve this message.
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it is 25 minutes past the hour. welcome back to a special election edition of "starting point." a quick check of your top stories. the northeast is is cleaning up from sandy as another storm threatens if you can believe it. bulldozers are clearing piles of debris in hard hit areas of s t staten island and new jersey. the storm is blamed for 110 deaths in the united states alone. to make matters worse, a nor'easter is in the forecast this week. it could bring heavy winds, rain, flooding to all of those areas on the east coast that were already hit hard by sandy. some polling places in new
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york city are being relocated or combined because of all the storm damage. voters in some counties may get an extra day to cast their ballots if turnout is too low. in new jersey displaced voters will be able to cast their votes by e-mail or fax tomorrow if they have power. notorious reputed mob boss james whitey bulger reportedly hospitalized in boston. the 83-year-old was rushed from his prison cell to a hospital yesterday after complaining of chest pains. bulger, the man who inspired jack nicholson's character in "the departed" is awaiting trial for his role in 19 murders. that is zach potter. inspiring a nation by climbing to the top of chicago's 103-story willis tower. zach lost his leg in a motorcycle accident three years ago. doctors out fitted the 31-year-old with the world's first neurocontrolled bionic
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leg. he used it to scale the former sears tower in just over 53 minutes. that's incredible. coming up, the economy is a top issue in this election. and president obama has consistently trailed mitt romney on that issue. so what does that mean for tomorrow's election? one of the nation's top economists, larry summers, is going to join us next. harge of . how they'll live tomorrow. for more than 116 years, ameriprise financial has worked for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one. together for your future. ♪
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together for your future. we'rwith questions fromtump sombing elections.kies do you know where your polling place is? maybe somewhere around my house. mine's just, right over that way. well you can find out exactly where it is using bing elections. it's a good day for politics.
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which way do you lean politically? conservative. republican. well, using the bing news selector you can find news from whichever way you lean. (together) social on this side, financial. which party is currently predicted to win a majority in the senate? the republicans? would you make a bet on that? no. are you chicken?
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nevada really important. look at florida. all those places were good to the president last time around in 2008. it will be interesting to see how that pans out. i want to show you another thing here. i want to take a look at unemployment. this is really kind of a cool thing to look at, too. when you look at this, this is the unemployment change since february 2009. the more orange you see here, that's much worse. the unemployment rate has gotten worse in some of these places including nevada. we talked about foreclosures there. 11.8%, highest in the country. green is where it's been getting better. iowa, for example, 5.2% in iowa. ohio is 7% in ohio. much better than the 8.7% it was when the president took office. so we'll see how this plays out as well. but these are the two things, soledad, that matter most to people. their home and their paycheck. whether you're getting a job and
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you can pay for the mortgage, whether you're behind on the loan. those are two things over the past four years that have been a real problem in parts of the country including swing states, soledad. >> we'll see what the impact is tomorrow. christine, thank you. as christine was talking about, the economy's been the dominant issue throughout this election. really throughout the campaign as well. our latest polls reflect that. 61% say the economy is extremely important to their vote. deficit is second highest rated at 55%. want to get right to harvard university professor larry summers. he's the former director of the national economic council for president obama. former treasury secretary under president bill clinton. it's nice to see you, sir. thanks for talking with us. when we look at certain polls, for example, the cnn/orc poll for likely voters, the economy will get better is what they were asked, sort of a leading question. the answer could be if obama wins, only if romney wins. take a look there. a larger number, 43%, say the economy will get better only if romney wins. 13% said either. then if you look at the number of people who believe that the
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economy is the most important issue, you know, it's a large number. christine was just mentioning that. all that i think would bode poorly for your candidate, right? >> i'll leave the politics to others. i think most observers feel that the president is going into this election in a very strong position. if you look at the polls in the key states in the electoral college, people on our side are very optimistic. and i share their optimism. what's important to recognize is that this president came in to an economy that had been imploding even more seriously than the economy did in the fall of 1929 headed into the depression. look at the employment statistics, the gdp statistics, the stock market. it was all the worst we've observed in more than 100 years. he turned that around with a set of strong policies. doing what was necessary to preserve the financial system.
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investing in america. protecting the automobile industry. as the president's the first to recognize, we're not all the way back where we would like to be. that wasn't possible given the magnitude of the economic rot that haden the seriousness of the crisis. we are moving upwards right now. what we need to do is continue with a strategy that's focused on building prosperity from the middle class. >> let me stop you for a second. so you're moving slowly, i think it's fair to say. you' i want to play a little snippet of what republicans were saying on the various shows. >> unemployment today is higher than when barack obama took office. >> in fact, unemployment is higher today than it was when president obama was sworn in. >> higher than the day president obama took office. >> it's high r than the day president obama came into office. >> i'm going to guess that's a talking point.
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it's higher today than the day president obama came into office. and there is no fair way to describe this as a strong, aggressive recovery. correct? >> soledad, it's a ridiculous talking point. the president obviously isn't responsible for what happened in the month or two several months after he took office. that was driven by the policies that had been placed previously. unemployment soared in the first few months of the president's actions before -- president in office before he was in a position to implement his policies. once his policies were in place, within six months job creation started again at a rapid rate. that is the right way to judge this president's policies. >> larry, this is christine romans here. i want to ask you quickly, what i hear a lot from independents, what i hear a lot from people in the middle of the country, they think the moment passed early in his administration to do a hyper focused jobs plan. instead he did obama care. he did health care reform.
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and that was a missed opportunity. and they don't quite trust him exactly now that beginning of a second term he'll be able to do a big jobs plan like he wanted to. did obama care take the moment away when there could have been real movement on creating jobs? >> i don't think so. the president actually within his first month of office passed the recovery act, which was unprecedented as a measure to create jobs. whether it was investing in infrastructure, whether it was preserving jobs for cops and teachers, whether it was putting money in the hands of middle class taxpayers. and the president's had that focus ever since. unfortunately, the strong measures the president's proposed, invest in america, to support providing funds to those who are in the best position to spend them, the congress has blocked that for the last two years. >> larry, it's ryan lizza. i have a question about the auto
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bailout. if the president wins, the auto bailout undoubtedly will be one of the main explanations for his victory in the midwest. i remember famously when you guys were deciding that issue there was a meeting in your office. and you held a vote. half the table said no, don't do it. half the table said, yes, do it. eventually the president did it. what was the deciding factor in him saving gm? was it the political implications of his re-election in the midwest? what settled that debate? >> ryan, you've got that story not right. that was with respect to a particular strategy with respect to chrysler. there was never any question about the largest part of the automobile bailout. >> well, no. but there was dissent over it. there was dissent over it. austan goolsbee was against it. >> no, there was not. >> there was no sdissent? >> ryan, i was there. there was dissent about the
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chrysler piece. which was about a third the size of the general motors piece. it was only about the chrysler piece. the president made a judgment -- >> that was a significant part of it. >> -- that those who wanted to let chrysler go were wrong. he made that judgment because he -- against the advice of many of his political advisers because he believed that the risks to the economy of adding another blow at that moment were just too great. that was the right decision as we've seen. with a different president, it could easily have gone a different way. and we could be looking at a very different economy in ohio and a very different economy in michigan. in fact, that's what governor romney famously recommended. just let them go. yes, there were -- there were those among the presidents advisers who shared that judgment. fortunately, the president came to a very different conclusion. >> larry summers joining us this
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morning. nice to see you, sir. thank you very talking with us. want to get an update now on some of the other stories making news. zoraida sambolin has that for us. >> hi there. a 2-year-old boy died sunday at the pittsburgh zoo after being mauled by a pack of rare african painted dogs. the toddler was visiting the zoo with his mother and with some friends when he fell 14 feet off a deck and into the exhibit where 11 of the painted dogs were housed. a zoo keeper was quickly able to clear away seven of those dogs. a police officer shot another one. but it was just too late to save that little boy. same-sex marriage is on the ballot in three stalts tomorrow. voters in maine, maryland and washington will decide whether to legalize it in their states. if it passes in any of them, it would be the first time same-sex marriage was made legal through a popular vote. it is legal in six states so far due to legislation or court orders there. sunday night football action with last night's 19-13 victory
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over the dallas cowboys, can 8-0 atlanta falcons are the only undefeated team in the nfl. this was no easy victory. the falcons kept their perfect record on the strength of four field goals. talking about politics making strange bedfellows, there's still a lot of buzz about the bromance between president obama and chris christie in the wake of superstorm sandy. it sure did not take long for "saturday night live" to weigh. >> i'd like to give thanks to president obama on how he handled the whole situation. obviously i'm voting for mitt romney. barack obama has been amazing. so kind, such a leader, a true inspiration. again, i'll be a good soldier, i'll vote for romney, but i'm going to hate it. >> it is nice for a good laugh, isn't it? what will we do after the election? >> so funny. zoraida, thank you. despite an overall tie, mitt
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romney has a 22-point lead among independents. how much will that be a factor tomorrow? we're going to talk with mark mackinnon, adviser on john mccain's 2008 campaign. stay with us. ♪
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welcome back, everybody. we're live in the nation's capital for special election coverage. we've just learned that governor mitt romney is going to vote early tomorrow morning near his home in belmont, massachusetts. this as the final cnn/orc poll is showing a tie. 49% to 49%. much different picture, though, among independents. the romney/ryan ticket is taking a whopping 59% to the
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president's 37%. our next guest says that voting bloc could make all the difference. mark mccan i havekinnon is pres adviser to the 2008 mccain campaign. nice to see you, mark. thanks for being with us. let's talk a little bit about those independents. what kind of impact could have that have? it sounds like a massive lead for governor romney. but when you look at the actual national polling you don't necessarily see that translate. >> well, it's one of the signs for encouragement for the romney campaign and for republicans. it's rare when a president wins the campaign without winning independents. obama won independents by 8% last time against john mccain. in the poll you just showed, he's trailing, and in some polls significantly, among independents. whichever way independents go is generally the way it's going to turn out. so it is certainly one indicator that gives republicans some hope. >> hey, mark. it's john berman here.
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you've been on both winning and losing campaigns for both democrats and republicans. for us mere mortals who are on the outside, what does it feel like? when do you know you're winning or losing and what are the signs? >> well, you know, i mean, winning, of course, is the best thing that can happen. losing is a near death experience. you know, the thing i remember more than anything is the 2004 campaign when we were on the plane coming back for our last day of campaigning with president bush. and we got the exit polls in about ten minutes before we landed. it's like the oxygen went out of the plane. because all the exit polls as you recall, john, had us losing big. and i remember we got down and i got back and the president called me about an hour later. man, what do you think about these exit polls. of course i put the best face on. but it looked really bad. that's my final message to everybody i talk to. you know, the exit polls have been traditionally wrong. polling is all based on modeling. everybody can find something in this election to give them some enthusiasm for a hopeful
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turnout. for you all covering it, for those of us watching, it's made for an exciting campaign these last few weeks because it's really not clear how it's going to turn out. >> mark, you get media. was it a mistake for the romney campaign to double down on that jeep ad and continue to say -- make that comment? you read the papers in ohio. he's getting savaged all across the state on an issue that made no sense in gm and chrysler and fiat had to come out as well and hit. >> yeah, i got to tell you, that one i can't explain. i had the same response. it's an issue where you're getting killed. why not change the subject? if you can change the subject. but certainly by refocusing the debate on the issue where you're bleeding voters and bleeding independents, why would you want to bring more attention to an issue that's hurting you like that? hard to rationalize where that came from. it'll be interesting to find out later in the post analysis. >> all right. mark mckinnon for us this
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morning. nice to talk to you, sir. appreciate your time this morning. got to take a short break. still ahead, superstorm sandy's effect on election day. we're going to take you to a high school that's doubling as a shelter for sandy evacuees. coming tomorrow, it's also going to be a polling place. that straight ahead. we're back in a moment.
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it is 52 minutes past the hour. welcome back to our special covera coverage, live from washington. now the political fallout from superstorm sandy. some polls sites in new york city are being relocated or combined because of all the storm damage. and voters in some counties may get an extra day to cast their ballots if turnout is too low. alina cho is at a high school in brooklyn that is doubling as a shelter for all of the sandy
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evacuees. tomorrow it will also be a voting site, we understand. alina, how are the preparations going there? >> reporter: well, i think we'll have to wait and see until election day tomorrow, zoraida. good morning. we are at brooklyn tech high school. you're absolutely right. right now it is an emergency shelter. housing those with special medical needs. and tomorrow it will become a polling station. and in that way, it is unique. it is the only school in new york city that will be both an emergency shelter and a polling station. now, across the city on election day, some 60 polling sites will either have to be combined or relocated due to damage from hurricane sandy. and in a move that could be unprecedented, voters in some new york counties including some on long island could actually get an extra day to cast ballots if voter turnout is less than 25%. but right now up to 40,000 people in new york city alone are without a home and are
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looking for one. so the most immediate concern is housing. >> if you get cold, people are in homes that are uninhabitable. it's going to become increasingly clear that they're uninhabitable when the temperature drops and the heat doesn't go on. >> reporter: that was new york governor andrew cuomo. and he added that people don't like to leave their homes. nobody does. but the reality, he says, will be in the temperature. and he's absolutely right, zoraida. tonight the temperatures in new york will dip below freezing. and on wednesday new york could get socked with a nor'easter. mayor bloomberg reminded rez dep dents of this area yesterday, you can die from being cold. he said if you're in that situation where you don't have heat, you don't have power, do not be a hero. if you have any question about where to go, in his words, stop a cop and ask. zoraida? >> that is very good advice. there was one death from hypothermia.
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alina cho live for us in brooklyn, thank you very much. we're going to take a quick break and we'll be back in a moment. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... a hybrid? most are just no fun to drive. now, here's one that will make you feel alive. meet the five-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see? cause c-max has lots more horsepower than prius v, a hybrid that c-max also bests in mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid.
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the potential of yelp unlocked. nyse euronext. unlocking the world's potential. to a currency market for everyone. the potential of fxcm unlocked. nyse euronext. unlocking the world's potential. we'll wrap as we always do with end point. i think we have a joint one from ryan salizza. >> mccain got my name right on the third try. i think senator mccain misunderstood the point i was
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making. i was disappointed he -- >> chastised is the word i use. >> you don't have to serve in the military to care about our vetera veterans. there are millions of people in this country who support our veterans, back them and have family members as well. senator john mccain, you're a veteran. respect that. also respect those of us who respect veterans who didn't serve. >> margaret hoover? >> mitt romney and obama didn't serve in the military either. >> bill burton didn't want to tackle the two things i said. independence and enthusiasm. here's the issue. in ohio and in these swing states they're going in the republicans' direction, not in the democrats'. they're not taken into account in these tied polls. >> john berman? >> you will see a frenzy of activity today. campaigns everywhere. it really doesn't matter. impact this monday before election day the candidates keep these busy schedules because they're so nervous they have to keep moving. >> tomorrow on "starting point" we're covering election day like no other. back live here starting at 5:00 a.m. eastern. guests tomorrow, virginia congressman randy forbe's, jack

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